Given the circumstances, the New Orleans Saints have to be incredibly proud of what they’ve done on the field in 2012. After an abysmal 0-4 start the Saints are in the NFC’s wild card picture with a serviceable 5-5 record. However, the road back to the NFL playoffs is not exactly paved with the gold found on the Saints helmets. With six games left in the season, the Saints opponents record is a stout 36-24-1.
Next Sunday the red hot San Francisco 49ers come to the Superdome looking to reach the eight win mark. A Saint defense that is dead last in rushing yards allowed will be tested against the 49ers best running attack in the league, averaging 165.3 rushing yards per game. Although at home, New Orleans looks like a long shot to overcome their defensive woes against a well-rounded San Francisco team.
Week 13 comes early for the Saints as they trek to the Georgia Dome on the 29th of November to take on the Atlanta Falcons for a pivotal Thursday Night game. Best case scenario, the Saints come into week 14 with a 7-5 record. On the other hand, a 5-7 record would all but finish Drew Brees and the Saints in 2012. Week 14 you ask? On the road against the defending champion New York Giants. A week later, the Saints play host to the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are currently ahead of the Saints with an unlikely 6-4 record.
The Saints end 2012 in Dallas against a 5-5 Cowboys ball club and then at home against the Carolina Panthers. While the Dallas Cowboys may put up a fight at home, the Saints should be favorites in both match ups.
All in all, the Saints have done a great job rebounding from such a disappointing offseason and start to 2012. But, the next five weeks ahead include games against the NFL’s best and a road back to the playoffs seems unlikely for Joe Vitt and the Saints.